In 1938 the British Empire Games were held in Sydney and a well-known Canadian sports star, Lynda Adams, was a foremost competitor in the diving events. Following the games, Lynda travelled to Yallourn to participate in a diving exhibition at the Yallourn (Lake) Pool. This brief article, published in ‘The Argus’ in May 1938, tells of Lynda’s visit to Yallourn….

May 5th 1938 ‘THE ARGUS’ Page: 14
The Canadian girl diver Lynda Adams, who came to Australia for the British Empire Games, and is in Melbourne at present, said last night that she expected to leave by train on Tuesday for Sydney, where she would catch the Aorangi for home on March 17. I have had a wonderful time In Melbourne, going to the races, to polo, and to dances," she said. She is staying with relatives, Mr and Mrs Dal Adams, of Malvern. Her father was a Ballarat man before he went to Canada to live. Lynda Adams will give exhibitions of diving today at Yallourn. ‘The Argus’ 5th May 1938.
1. It is believed that Lynda may have travelled to Yallourn with Irene Donnet and other members of the Victorian Amateur Swimming Association.
2. Irene Donnet actually won the Gold Medal in springboard diving at the Sydney Empire Games. Controversy dogged the women’s diving events at those games; and several press reports suggest that Lynda Adams was unlucky not to have won a gold medal in the high tower event.
3. Irene Donnet is the aunt of Australian Olympic and Commonwealth diver Jenny Donnet. The name ‘Donnet’ is well known in Yallourn’s sporting history as members of the family were involved in the town’s football, cricket, athletic and swimming clubs.
4. The Yallourn Swimming Club officials credited with organizing Lynda’s visit to the Yallourn that year were: - C.Boehm (President), M. Kitney (Secretary) and W. Kersten (Treasurer.)
5. The ‘Aorangi’ mentioned in ‘The Argus’ report was the passenger vessel that plied the Vancouver to Sydney route in those days. The ‘MV Aorangi’ is not to be confused with ‘SS Aorangi’ which was chartered as a supply vessel by the RAN during the First World War.

The newspaper reports of those times indicated that Lynda was not only a fine sportsperson but a very popular identity wherever she travelled throughout the world. It was a notable day in the town’s sporting history when Lynda came to Yallourn.
Lynda, who was born in Vancouver in 1920, became a teenage champion of Canadian diving. The following achievements underline her ability in spring board and tower events…
• 1933: British Columbia Champion.
• 1934: At the age of 13 years, Lynda won the tower diving championship in British Columbia.
• 1934: 4th place at the London Empire Games.
• 1935: British Columbia Champion.
• 1936: Competitor at the Berlin Olympic Games.
• 1938: Silver Medal in the Springboard at the Sydney Empire games. Visited Yallourn and gave an exhibition of diving at the Yallourn Pool.
• 1939: Canadian Champion.
• 1950: Lynda resumed diving after the Second World War and won a Bronze Medal in the Springboard Diving at the Auckland Empire Games. Lynda competed under her married name (Hunt) in New Zealand.
• Lynda was inducted into the British Columbia Hall of Fame in 1970.
Following her retirement from competition diving, Lynda became a leading swimming coach in Vancouver.
According to Jason Beck, the Curator of the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, Lynda died on February 26th in 1997.
Sincere appreciation is expressed to Julian Beck and Cecilia Olmos at the BC Sports Hall of Fame (Vancouver) for their kind assistance in clarifying aspects of Lynda’s awards and achievements for the Virtual Yallourn website.
This story is part of a history project entitled ‘From the Newspapers’ and a full list of titles in this series can be obtained by contacting Julie George. The research, writing and posting of this article were completed by Julie and Roger Spaull for the Virtual Yallourn website in April 2016.
The above extract from the ‘The Argus’ has been faithfully reproduced. The only amendments to the original copy are the font style, font size and spacing, so as to enhance the story for the purposes of posting on the Virtual Yallourn website.

Reference Photo

Canadian Diver Lynda Adams - 1938

Canadian diving champion, Lynda Adams, who visited Yallourn in 1938.

Source: British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame (Vancouver)

Diver Lynda Adams from Vancouver in action 1938

Lynda Adams in action…Note: This photograph was taken at the North Sydney Olympic Pool (not the Yallourn Pool) in 1938.
Source: ‘Goulburn Evening Post’ January 26th 1938 page: 5

Diver Irene Donnett in action - 1936

A Yallourn connection….Irene Donnet in action in 1936.
Source: ‘Advocate’ (Burnie -Tasmania) February 26th 1936 Page: 7.